Depressing Warning Of Central Valley Salmon Die-Off

Here’s more on the sad details from the Sacramento Bee:

In a brief update on the perilous state of the river issued this week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife made a dire prediction about the endangered winter-run Chinook salmon and its struggles against consistently hot weather in the Sacramento Valley.

“This persistent heat dome over the West Coast will likely result in earlier loss of ability to provide cool water and subsequently it is possible that nearly all in-river juveniles will not survive this season,” the department said.

Given that the salmon generally have a three-year life cycle, a near-total wipeout of one year’s run of juveniles “greatly increases the risk of extinction for the species,” said Doug Obegi, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Here’s some reaction from the Golden State Salmon Association’s president John McManus:

“Californians should be alerted that the extinction of a native salmon run is underway right now as a result of government inaction to stop it.  State and federal water managers have apparently decided it’s politically inconvenient to reroute short water supplies to prevent extinction if it means a few less acres of crops.  We’re losing winter run salmon right now and the fall run salmon that supply the sport and commercial fisheries will be decimated too.  Californians who care about the environment need to hold government officials accountable for allowing the loss of the state’s natural resources on their watch.”